September 9, 2011

‘Arab Spring’ Updates From AP: ‘Protesters’ Ransack Israeli Embassy in Egypt; Egyptians Have ‘Never’ Supported 1979 Treaty

APblurredTiltedThe folks involved in the storming of Israel’s embassy in Cairo are probably wondering what they have to do to become the press’s pet word for rampaging Muslims (the country is 90% Muslim, and it would be a very safe bet that heavily persecuted Coptic Christians aren’t involved): “militants.”

I guess breaking through the Israeli embassy’s security wall, ransacking offices, and dumping documents doesn’t get you there, at least not with Aya Batrawy of the Associated Press. The ransacking, as well as the vehicle burning which is also taking place (see this photo), don’t even get into AP’s headline (bolds are mine):

Egyptians break into Israeli Embassy in Cairo

Protesters broke into the Israeli Embassy in Cairo Friday and dumped documents out of the windows as hundreds more demonstrated outside, prompting the ambassador and his family to leave the country. The unrest was a further worsening of already deteriorating ties between Israel and post-Hosni Mubarak Egypt.

Egyptian police made no attempt to intervene during the day as crowds of hundreds tore down an embassy security wall with sledgehammers and their bare hands or after nightfall when about 30 protesters stormed into the Nile-side high-rise building where the embassy is located.

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WaPo’s Dionne: ‘Time to Leave 9/11 Behind’ as ‘A Simple Day of Remembrance’

WTC-2Having read E.J. Dionne’s Wednesday column in the Washington Post (HT Jim Taranto at the Wall Street Journal’s Best of the Web), I am sooooo comforted — not. Dionne assures his readers that “Al-Qaeda is a dangerous enemy. But our country and the world were never threatened by the caliphate of its mad fantasies.” Thus, the last 10 years of the “war on terrorism” (lowercase letters and quote marks are his) have apparently largely been a waste of time and treasure, which is why, on the tenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, Dionne asserts that “we need to leave the day behind,” and relegate it to “a simple day of remembrance.”

Dionne is of course entitled to his opinions but not his facts. In addition to dangerously underestimating global jihad’s devastating potential, Dionne overestimated what he must believe is a “lost decade” media meme, and completely misinterpreted the meaning of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. What follows are excerptes from Dionne’s column (bolds and numbered tags are mine):

After we honor the 10th anniversary of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, we need to leave the day behind. As a nation we have looked back for too long. We learned lessons from the attacks, but so many of them were wrong. The last decade was a detour that left our nation weaker, more divided and less certain of itself.

Reflections on the meaning of the horror and the years that followed are inevitably inflected by our own political or philosophical leanings. It’s a critique that no doubt applies to my thoughts as well. We see what we choose to see and use the event as we want to use it.

This does nothing to honor those who died and those who sacrificed to prevent even more suffering. In the future, the anniversary will best be reserved as a simple day of remembrance in which all of us humbly offer our respect for the anguish and the heroism of those individuals and their families.
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9/11 Tenth Anniversary Punditry Roundup

Pentagon-2 WTC-2 ShanksvilleReplacementPic091101

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Michelle Malkin (“All the Wrong 9/11 Lessons”; bolds are mine throughout):

9/11 was a deliberate, carefully planned evil act of the long-waged war on the West by Koran-inspired soldiers of Allah around the world. They hated us before George W. Bush was in office. They hated us before Israel existed. And the avengers of the religion of perpetual outrage will keep hating us no matter how much we try to appease them.

The post-9/11 problem isn’t whether we’ll forget. The problem is: Will we ever learn?

Christopher Hitchens (“Simply Evil”):

… against the tendencies of euphemism and evasion, some stout simplicities deservedly remain. Among them: Holocaust denial is in fact a surreptitious form of Holocaust affirmation. The fatwa against Salman Rushdie was a direct and lethal challenge to free expression, not a clash between traditional faith and “free speech fundamentalism.” The mass murder in Bosnia-Herzegovina was not the random product of “ancient hatreds” but a deliberate plan to erase the Muslim population. The regimes of Saddam Hussein and Kim Jong Il and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad fully deserve to be called “evil.” And, 10 years ago in Manhattan and Washington and Shanksville, Pa., there was a direct confrontation with the totalitarian idea, expressed in its most vicious and unvarnished form.

Charles Krauthammer at Jewish World Review:

In the end: 10 years, no second attack (which everyone assumed would come within months). That testifies to the other great achievement of the decade: the defensive anti-terror apparatus hastily constructed from scratch after 9/11 by President Bush, and then continued by President Obama. Continued why? Because it worked. It kept us safe — the warrantless wiretaps, the Patriot Act, extraordinary rendition, preventive detention and, yes, Guantanamo.

… 9/11 was our Pearl Harbor. This time, however, the enemy had no home address. No Tokyo. Which is why today’s war could not be wrapped up in a mere four years. It was unconventional war by an unconventional enemy embedded within a worldwide religious community. Yet in a decade, we largely disarmed and defeated it, and developed the means to continue to pursue its remnants at rapidly decreasing cost. That is a historic achievement.

Phyllis Chesler at Pajamas Media:

The Islamic/Islamist war against the West is not over. Whether America pulls out of Iraq and Afghanistan or stops targeted assassinations or not, we are in this for the long haul. Pretending that Islam is not the problem will not keep us or democracy safe nor will pretending that Muslim jihadists do not exist, are primarily innocent, or are our natural “peace partners.” Americans are not guilty of “Islamophobia.” According to the FBI, post-9/11, hate crimes against American Jews, not against American Muslims, increased alarmingly.

Reaching out to Muslims is indeed important — if they are willing to tolerate rather than persecute and attack infidel religions and infidel values. Reaching out to home-grown or foreign-born suicide bomber jihadists who present themselves as “moderate” preachers of peace will only endanger us.

Sadly, people who should know better are doing far too much of the latter.

Michael Ledeen at Pajamas Media:

America is the one truly revolutionary country on earth, because Americans are willing to fight for our freedoms. Like al-Qaeda, our enemies do not get this, because they cannot imagine the incredible power of free people uniting to defend themselves. Osama bin Laden believed that 9/11 would bring us down, but instead it took us to a war that defeated him and his Syrian and Iranian allies in Iraq, and has reversed the gains of the Taliban in Afghanistan.

It’s not smart to challenge Americans. We love that. Yeah, we’re very slow to get on with it, and yeah, we get tired and forget our mission every so often, and yeah, we make mistakes choosing our leaders. But when we do get on with it, it’s awesome.

Just ask our kids.

Two of Mr. Ledeen’s children are Marines. The third worked for the Department of Defense in Iraq as a civilian. I thank them for their service.

Roger Simon at Pajamas Media:

… this Islamic (terrorist) ideology has a major advantage in durability over the totalitarian ideologies that pervaded the twentieth century — Nazism and communism. It promises eternal life. There is no easy way to disprove that.

The bad news is that no one currently reading this article is likely to see the resolution of this struggle. The good news is that some of us are now awake –even if made so in the most brutal manner ten years ago.

Yes, many of those awakened at that time have gone back to sleep, but let’s take a minute to applaud those who have not. This is not meant to be an applause of self-congratulation, but one of encouragement. We must continue.

Andrew Klavan at City Journal, on Hollywood’s post-9/11 product:

… when it comes to sheer shamefulness, the conformist “radicals” of Hollywood outdid themselves in the years after the Islamofascist attacks on 9/11.

… (Almost all of the related) films were bad and they were bombs, showingthat ideology, not art or commerce, dictated their content. It was the dark mirror image of Hollywood’s patriotic response to Pearl Harbor in the 1940s, a living diagram of what the Left has wrought in our cultural lives since then.

… When America really needed them, our filmmakers betrayed her. Andbecause their unpatriotic products were made while our troops were under fire in the field, they constitute, when considered together, an unprecedentedly wicked action by an industry that rose to success and power through celebrating the nation and values that it now mindlessly attacks.

… most of our creative types have failed to formulate a forthright response to the ongoing Islamist threat—the dual threat of open violence and Sharia imperialism. That response requires the death of nonsensical relativism and the rebirth of foundational values. Post-postmodern intellectuals need to understand that, just as the grand and reasoned structure of mathematics stands on the rock of unshakeable axioms, so the cathedral of human morality is built on certain truths. These truths that we hold to be self-evident—that people are endowed not by governments but by their Creator with equal rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness—are not good for some people sometimes but for all people eternally. As such, they are not only a humane basis for opposition to Islamism, but the very stuff and soul of art.

Rich Lowry at Jewish World Review:

Why did Jay Jonas and his unit in the North Tower of the World Trade Center, evacuating as it was on the verge of collapse, stop to carry out a distressed woman even though it slowed their escape? Why did a band of passengers on Flight 93 storm the cockpit of their hijacked plane? Why did Jason Dunham, Ross McGinnis and Michael Monsoor — all Medal of Honor winners from the Iraq War — throw themselves on grenades to save their comrades?

Ask a firefighter such a question and he’s liable to answer, “That’s just what we do.” What we do, in turn, is express our astonishment and gratitude.

Victor Davis Hanson at City Journal (“The Ripples of 9/11″):

Conventional wisdom following 9/11 insisted that we would soon find bin Laden but that his insidious terror gang would probably remain a permanent existential threat that could repeat the September attack almost whenever it wished. A near-decade after the fall of the Twin Towers, bin Laden was finally killed by the United States, right under the nose of his Pakistani hosts. His radical Islamic terrorist organization is in disarray, without popular support, without the old covert subsidies from the oil sheikdoms, and without the infrastructure and networks that it would need to repeat its 9/11 attacks. The old post-9/11 warning of “not if, but when”—referring to the inevitability of more terrorism here—has not panned out so far, mostly because of heightened security at home and the projection of U.S. force abroad.

… even after a decade of acrimony, partisan rancor, and stasis, Americans continue to be horrified—and angry—over those who were murdered on September 11.

I wish I could agree with Hanson’s final assertion that “We’ve done our best for ten years to ensure that it cannot happen again.” I can’t. We’ve done well within the insufferable bonds of political correctness, but the bonds are still there (ask Amy Alkon), wasting our limited law enforcement and terror-prevention resources, and needlessly endangering ourselves.

Diana West at Jewish World Review pinpoints the problem, and the challenge:

Thank you, America, for the golden age of Islam

It is something to have gone 10 years without an Islamic attack of similarly gigantic proportions to those of Sept. 11, 2001, but it is not enough. That’s because the decade we look back on is marked by a specifically Islamic brand of security from jihad. It was a security bought by the Bush and Obama administrations’ policies of appeasement based in apology for, and irrational denial of, Islam’s war doctrine, its anti-liberty laws and its non-Western customs. As a result of this policy of appeasement — submission — we now stand poised on the brink of a golden age.

Tragically for freedom of speech, conscience and equality before the law, however, it is an Islamic golden age. It’s not just the post-9/11 rush into Western society of Islamic tenets and traditions on everything from law to finance to diet that has heralded this golden age, although that’s part of it. More important is the fact that our central institutions have actively primed themselves for it, having absorbed and implemented the central codes of Islam in the years since the 9/11 attacks, exactly as the jihadists hoped and schemed.

… The air has cleared, but the appeasement and the Islamization go on. Thus, a golden age begins, but unless we throw off this mental yoke of submission, it cannot be our own.

Quick Hits (090911, Morning)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 12:57 pm

At BeliefNet, Jack Kerwick comments on “Michael Bloomberg and the Cleric-Free Zone.” In case you missed it, “it is the mayor’s decision to exclude clerics from participating in the (9/11) commemorative ceremony scheduled for Sunday …”

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A comprehensive list of Obama’s tax hikes.

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At Information Week, the cheery thought of the day — “the increasing amount of digital technology in vehicles will lead to security threats.” Hate to sound old school, but as far as I’m concerned, something that gets me from Point A to Point B will suffice.

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The Congressional Budget Office is estimating that August’s deficit will be $132 billion.

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A Republican upset in the election to replace the disgraced Anthony Weiner is more than a pipedream (HT Hot Air).

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Even the Associated Press couldn’t let the President’s claim in his biiiiiiig jobs speech that his proposals are “paid for” go by without calling BS.

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If he really cared about jobs and the economy, this wouldn’t be happening“20 Drilling Rigs in Jeopardy of Leaving Gulf Over Permit Delays, Report Warns.” Permit requirements have been made needlessly stringent. A person quoted at the link claims it’s not political. Baloney, or I should say, “globaloney.”

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Another ObamaCare preview from the UK:

GPs ordered to ration cancer scans: Lives ‘being put at risk’ by bureaucrats’ new cost-saving directive

Family doctors have been ordered to ration the number of patients they send for life-saving cancer scans to save money.

They are being told to slash the number they refer to hospital for tests including ultrasounds, MRIs and CT scans commonly used to spot tumours.

Last night experts warned the cost-saving measures increased the risk of patients being diagnosed too late and dying unnecessarily.

Britain has one of the lowest cancer survival rates in Europe, and experts say late diagnosis is to blame.

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A matter of priorities:

NBC picks Packers over Obama in Milwaukee

The NBC affiliate in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, WTMJ TV announced yesterday they will not be airing Obama’s jobs speech at 7 PM EST Thursday night. instead they are opting for their own pre-game coverage of the Packers Saints game scheduled to kick off at 8 PM. Green Bay’s NBC affiliate, NBC 26, will also go with the Packers pre-game show over Obama.

The left will probably try to blame Scott Walker for this.

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Remember Listen to the generals“? That was soooooo 2007:

The Obama administration has decided to drop the number of U.S. troops in Iraq at the end of the year down to 3,000, marking a major downgrade in force strength, multiple sources familiar with the inner workings and decisions on U.S. troop movements in Iraq told Fox News.

Senior commanders are said to be livid at the decision, which has already been signed off by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

… Currently, about 45,000 U.S. troops are stationed in Iraq. The generals on the ground had requested a reduced number of troops remaining in Iraq at the end of the year, but there was major pushback about “the cost and the political optics” of keeping that many in Iraq. The military’s troop-level request was then reduced to 10,000.

Commanders said they could possibly make that work “in extremis,” in other words, meaning they would be pushing it to make that number work security-wise and manpower-wise.

Now, sources confirm that the administration has pushed the Pentagon to cut the number even lower, and commanders are concerned for the safety of the U.S. troops who would remain there.

If the troop decision stands and the peace in Iraq falls apart, it’s entirely, inarguably on Obama.

Bob Livingston, ‘The Rape of Amy Alkon,’ and Our Post-9/11 Freedoms

Filed under: National Security,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:26 am

Read what was done to her, in her own words (warning: very graphic).

Then read on for Mr. Livingston’s thoughts:
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Wall Street Journal Bottom-Lines Obama’s ‘Jobs’ Speech

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:59 am

In an editorial this morning:

The unfortunate reality is that even if Republicans gave Mr. Obama everything he wanted, the impact on growth would be modest at best. Washington can most help the economy with serious spending restraint, permanent tax-rate cuts, regulatory relief and repeal of ObamaCare. What won’t help growth is more temporary, targeted political conjuring.

But that’s all we got.

Positivity: In an Afghanistan firefight, the making of a hero

Filed under: Positivity,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Greensburg, Kentucky:

September 6, 2011

When Marine Cpl. Dakota Meyer plunged into Afghanistan’s Ganjgal Valley, he was sure he wouldn’t come out alive.

“I don’t think there was ever a question in my mind if I was going to die,” Meyer said. “It was just when.”
Inside the narrow valley, Taliban insurgents were dug into the high ground and hidden inside a village, pouring down deadly fire at Afghan forces and their American advisers. Armed militants swarmed the low ground to try to finish off the troops.

Meyer’s team was pinned down near the village. He wasn’t going to wait and see whether they would get out. Defying orders to stay put, Meyer set himself in the turret of a Humvee and rode straight into the firefight, taking fire from all directions. He went in not once, but five times, trying to rescue his comrades.

During about six hours of chaotic fighting, he killed eight Taliban militants and provided cover for Afghan and U.S. servicemen to escape the ambush, according to a Marine Corps account of the events.

Meyer saved the lives of 13 U.S. troops and 23 Afghan soldiers that day, Sept. 8, 2009.

Next week, President Obama will award him the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest medal for bravery. During the ceremony Sept. 15, Meyer will become the third living recipient of the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Meyer, who joined the Marines almost on a lark, said in an interview with USA TODAY at his grandparents’ farm that what he did was an easy decision to make.

“My best friends were in there getting shot at,” he said.

Meyer said he knew he was taking a chance by defying orders, but he never doubted his decision. “I’d rather be sitting in jail right now for the rest of my life for something like this and those guys be alive than … questioning if I could have done something different,” he said.

Go here for the rest of the story.